An SRTF Workshop on Solid and Medical Waste Management in Syria held in Gaziantep, Turkey

Gaziantep–Wednesday, 11 March 2015– A three-day SRTF workshop on Solid and Medical Waste Management in Syria ended here today. The workshop organized, funded and hosted by the SRTF Management Unit (MU) aimed to enhance local capacities in handling waste generated by various sources and tackling the challenges related to current waste disposal practices. The workshop was attended by a large number of staff of project implementing entities (IEs), municipal and health directorates, suppliers as well as MU field officers and staff.


Since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011, solid waste collection and disposal services have been disrupted across the country, becoming a public health issue, particularly in the cities of Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Idleb and Rural Damascus. In many areas, where the state has stopped providing waste collection services, worsening hygiene and uncontrolled garbage disposal are putting about five million people at risk of disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) at least 35 percent of the country’s hospitals are out of service and the pile-up of rubbish is likely to lead to a proliferation of diseases.


Responses must build on existing urban and sanitation systems. The most cost-effective and efficient interventions will require addressing the problems facing the waste management systems, which are run at district or municipal levels. Enabling municipal staff to play their role as “first responders,” requires strengthening their information management, planning capacities coordination, dispute resolution, waste management skills as well as monitoring and evaluation.


In the area of solid waste management, the workshop dealt with solid waste definition and classification; collection and transportation to landfills; collection equipment and machinery; norms related to calculations to work out the capacity of machinery, problems with the current disposal practices, environmental considerations for the selection of landfill sites; monitoring and evaluation, landfills treatment and commissioning; waste sorting and recycling; conversion of organic waste into fertilizers; rubble waste management; and occupational safety of workers in the waste sector.


In the area of medical waste management, the workshop focused on medical waste classification; collection and transportation to landfills; sorting of medical waste at hospitals, clinics and medical points; stages of collection and treatment; treatment methods; difficulties faced by medical waste management workers; and suggested programs and recommendations.




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